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Integrating Healthcare, Wellness, and Safety Strategies to Achieve Total Worker Health and Control

Skill Building Session II
Title:  Integrating Healthcare, Wellness, and Safety Strategies to Achieve Total Worker Health and Control Costs
Speaker: Maria Monteagudo, Employee Relations Director and Renee Joos, Fiscal and Risk Manager, City of Milwaukee
Description: Join a discussion with the City of Milwaukee as they share successful initiatives that have resulted in flat health care costs over the last five years for a workforce of almost 7,000 employees. An evolving process that included changes in the utilization of the health care benefit plan design, implementation of a comprehensive wellness program, implementation of a Safety Risk Management Program, the opening of an onsite Workplace Clinic and Wellness Center as well as collaboration with vendors to emphasize quality of care and cost control. These initiatives have led the City to strive to better align program silos and pursue a total employee model of wellbeing that helps meet employees where they are at on their road to good health. These lessons have contributed to the City’s success and are applicable for all worksites.
• How to implement a multi-faceted program when rolling out to a resistant audience.
• Identify how key stakeholders and vendors can work in partnership to connect existing programs and initiatives with employee needs. 
• How collaboration is helpful in identifying synergies, establishing partnerships and using collective buying power to leverage better pricing.
• Why creative and ongoing communication to employees is key in reaching a multi-generational workforce.
Speaker Biography: 
Maria Monteagudo has been the Director of Employee Relations for the City of Milwaukee since 2004. She has worked in the field of personnel and employee relations for the City of Milwaukee for over 28 years. She currently oversees a staff of forty five employees with responsibility for recruitment, testing, compensation, training, benefit administration, employee relations, risk management, worker’s compensation and safety, compliance, and grievance administration. Working with the City’s Employee Benefits Director and other key stakeholders, Ms Monteagudo has provided strategic leadership in the implementation of health care design changes, a comprehensive wellness program and the opening of a worksite health clinic that have successfully stabilized the City’s health care costs for the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee’s tax payers. Maria is a member of the International Public Management Association (IPMA-HR) and served as a Board member for the Association’s Central Region from 2009 to 2012. In 2015 she received the Public Sector Award from the Hispanic Professionals Association of Greater Milwaukee and in 2016 she received the HR Award for Public Sector from the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Renee Joos is the Fiscal and Risk Manager for the Department of Employee Relations with the City of Milwaukee. In her role she analyzes the City’s health, wellness, and safety utilization data and trends in order to develop strategies and policy recommendations to effectively manage risks and loss control in healthcare, worker’s compensation and other areas. In 2009, Ms. Joos helped develop and implement a Risk Management Program for injury prevention for the City in order to bridge a large disconnect between workplace safety at the department level and the impact of those injuries on worker’s compensation related expenditures. The program has contributed to a number of achievements and significant decreases in the City’s workers compensation metrics including reducing injury rates by 30%. Ms. Joos also works closely with the Employee Benefits Director and the Employee Relations Director on the design and implementation of the City’s healthcare benefits, onsite Workplace Clinic, comprehensive wellness program, and other initiatives that impact employee health and wellbeing. These initiatives have contributed to the City’s ability to control healthcare costs for the last five years. Ms. Joos received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has over 12 years of experience working in the public sector on budget management, policy issues, and healthcare/wellness programming. 
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